A survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on Domestic and Outbound Tourism in the country revealed that outbound tourists (i.e. those who traveled outside the country) spent GH¢296.9 million overall on their tourism activities.
The survey, which was carried out in 2015, said more than half of the expenditure (53.9 percent) was on education/training, religion and pilgrimage 16.5 percent while those in the visiting friends and relatives category spent 13.37 percent.
Funeral tourists spent the least at 0.9 percent.
The survey also said most of the outbound tourists were found beyond Africa, spending nearly 80 percent of the total expenditure while expenditure by those who traveled to other African countries represented 11 percent and 9.2 in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Among the different categories of products, the demand for transport services by outbound tourists was the highest (37%), followed by accommodation (18.2%).
The third in significance was the demand for food and beverages, accounting for 17.9 percent.
These three categories of tourism products (transport, accommodation and food and beverages) accounted for 73.1 percent of the total tourist expenditure.
The demand for cultural services was the lowest, suggesting that most outbound tourists’ participation in cultural activities outside the country was minimal.
It said the total expenditure of domestic tourists in Ghana amounted to GH¢698.4 million.
Out of this amount, and for purpose of visit, domestic tourists visiting friends and relatives spent 29.6%, funeral expenditure represented 24.3% and business expenditure accounted for 25.3%.
On the average, these three main purposes accounted for 89.2% of the total expenditure.
Leisure, recreation, and holidays tourists’ share represented only 2.9%, indicating that Ghanaians do not spend much of their income on leisure, recreation and holiday tourism.
For the expenditure categories, expenditure on transportation was the highest (47.8%), followed by shopping (21.3%) then food and beverages (18.9%).
The least expenditure was on cultural services (0.09%).
Same day visitors
Domestic same-day visitors were 1,941,567, made up of 53.7 percent males and 46.3 percent females.
Domestic overnight visitors constituted 3,678,567.
However, male domestic visitors (47%) were less than their female (53%) counterparts.
In terms of outbound same-day visitors, male visitors (67.8%) were higher than females (32.2%) likewise outbound overnight visitors which had higher number of males (53.5%) than the female counterparts.
Again, high proportions of domestic overnight visitors (35.6%) and outbound overnight visitors (24.1%) have no level of education.
This means that nearly thirty-six percent (35.6%) of domestic overnight visitors and nearly one-fourth (24.1%) of outbound overnight visitors had never been to school.
Nevertheless, 33.8 percent of domestic overnight visitors and 21.8 percent of outbound overnight visitors had attained Middle School Leaving Certificate or Basic Education Certificate Examination (MSLC/BECE).
Less than six percent (5.4%) of domestic overnight visitors and less than 10 percent (9.1%) of outbound overnight visitors had tertiary education.
Ashanti Region received 19.8 percent of the domestic same-day visitors and 18.7 percent overnight visitors.
The proportion of female (21.6%) domestic same day visitors to the region was higher than the female (19.4%) overnight visitors.
On the contrary, the proportion of male (18.2%) same day visitors to the Ashanti region was slightly higher than male (17.8%) overnight visitors.
The next destination for domestic same day visitors after Ashanti was the Eastern region (16.7%).
This was followed by Greater Accra (15.5%) and Central (12.9%).
Relatively few domestic same day visitors visited the Northern (4.1%), Upper West (1.2%) and Upper East (0.8%) regions.
Similarly, few domestic overnight visitors visited the Northern (7.7%), Upper West (2.3%) and Upper East (2.1%) regions.
Apart from Ashanti Region, Greater Accra (18.4%) and the Eastern regions (12.7%) were the next most visited destination regions for overnight visitors.